Last month was a budget bust for me but like I said before, I’m happy to be hanging in there. To someone who’s simply over busy expensive months and cringes at the thought of mindless spending, some $0 budget categories sound awesome right about now.
That’s exactly what I plan to do this month. I plan to take the ‘no spend week’ to a whole different level by finding fun and meaningful alternatives to doing things I normally spend money on without a second thought. I’m looking forward to my challenges this month and I’ll definitely keep everyone updated on my progress. Here are a few areas of my budget and life that I’m taking action on not next week, not later, but today.
6-Month Shopping Ban
I’m excited to announce that my clothes and shoes shopping ban starts today. I’ve mentioned wanting to do a shopping ban before, but I’ve never really addressed any details about it. I’ve read about others banning clothes purchases for a long period of time, sometimes up to a year, but I’ve pretty much developed my own reasons for doing this.
I not only need to work on spending wisely and focus on my needs instead of my wants, but I’ve also been addicted to clothes and fashion for as long as I can remember so this is going to be my toughest challenge. Lately, I have been able to keep my shopping under control by limiting trips to the store and shopping only during sale seasons. But I’m not going to sit up here and lie and claim that I’m a ‘plain girl’ who doesn’t care clothes and shopping isn’t important to me.
Yes, shopping is low on my priority list, but fashion has always been an outlet for me to express myself. It’s just something about trying out new trends and choosing styles and outfits that reflect my personality that really excites me. I used to be so into fashion that I wanted to write for a fashion publication like Marie Claire or Seventeen Magazine and I even started a fashion blog a few years back. I still attend fashion shows twice a year for fun but lately, I’ve realized that even though I already have enough clothes in my closet, whenever I step into a store I desire to shop for more clothes.
Also, the whole principle of feeding into big-name designers and spending an arm and a leg for a basic shirt or sweater just because it’s Ralph Lauren or whoever’s brand never sat well with me. I often ask myself why do I still want more clothes even though I have plenty? and does what you wear really define who you are?. I’m interested to see how or if this shopping ban changes my mindset toward clothes and while I feel I will always like fashion, I don’t want to be addicted to shopping and always wanting more.
$0 Entertainment Budget
It’s also going to be a bit tricky to spend absolutely nothing on entertainment this month. It’s not like I do a ton anyway, but I really want to prove to myself that I don’t have to break out my wallet every time I want to have fun. I always say that there are tons of free things to do in my neighborhood and I really need to explore them and take advantage of coupons and offers. If it were summer this challenge would definitely be easier. But I’m looking forward to getting creative and I’m confident that I can have a good time without draining my funds to do so. Win: Win!
$0 Dining Out Budget
I couldn’t do a $0 entertainment budget this month without pledging to avoid dining out or ordering take out. I’ve been getting better at this, but when things get busy at work and I feel overwhelmed/tired/stressed, the last thing on my mind is cooking dinner then I uncontrollably think about more convenient options. Luckily Ray has been taking over dinner some nights and I’ve been focusing on cooking less complex meals that don’t take that much time or thought.
I would also love to start batch cooking since it will save more time and money but the option of dining out can easily get in the way of this goal. To add insult to injury, I actually think I missed a few times that I ordered out last month because my dining out budget for January seemed a bit low. That tells me that it’s becoming too easy for me to just eat out and think nothing of it in regards to my budget or worse, just forget I did it at all. I’m still learning here though, so I think a month of not spending money on dining out will help me get back on track with meal planning, batch cooking and finding more creative recipes.
How did January go for you? Did you manage to stay within your budget or overspend? What are you doing to combat your overspending for future months?
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